Thursday, November 8, 2012

Turkey...Not For a Crowd

It’s that time…..time to figure out what you are doing for Thanksgiving.  Are you travelling?  Eating with friends?  Staying home?  This year, we are staying home, just the four of us.  We have so many “Holiday Shopping Events” for Gourmet Rooster this season that it doesn’t make sense for us to try to go anywhere.  While Mr. Rooster was happy about that (it means he can sit at home all day in sweats and watch football), it makes me sad that we won’t be celebrating with family.  It also made me wonder….do I cook a whole turkey for four of us?  While I like left-overs, I really don’t want to be eating turkey everything for months.  So, I decided to just cook a turkey breast….and I came up with a great recipe and…..it is cooked in the slow cooker.  Double score.

Cooking a turkey in the slow cooker is the way to go if you are only feeding a few people.  It frees up the oven for stuffing, rolls, pies, etc. and it is super easy.  Plus, the turkey stays moist and delicious.  Throw that bad boy in the morning, and by late afternoon, you have a perfect turkey breast.  Let me show you how I do it because there is one little trick…..


I will get to the foil balls in a second….First off, notice the aromatics (a fancy word for onions, carrots, celery, etc.) in the bottom.  This helps make a really good gravy later.  I used carrots, celery, a couple of shallots and a couple of garlic cloves.  An onion would work, I just happened to have shallots on hand. 

Don’t get too fancy with how you cut your veggies….you will toss them later.  For instance, I just peeled and quartered my shallot, and I threw in whole peeled garlic cloves.  Whole baby carrots are fine.  Don’t stress about this part.  Have a glass of wine and remember that Turkey Day is supposed to be fun.  Actually wait, this part is done in the morning so scratch the wine.  Maybe a mimosa?

So about the foil…No, I haven’t lost my mind….yet.  I place my turkey breast on balls of foil so that it doesn’t rest on the bottom of the crock pot.  The foil balls will act as a rack, which will keep the turkey from getting soggy and falling apart.  I also won’t be drowning the breast in liquid.  I will use some, but I am using the slow cooker as an oven, essentially.  I promise, it will work.  You will end up with a turkey breast that is amazingly moist, but it won’t fall apart like meat cooked in a slow cooker typically does.


As for the breast itself, before I place it in the slow cooker on its foil ball bed, I rubbed the whole thing, including under the skin, with a mixture of butter, Gourmet Rooster Whiskey Apple Spread, mustard, and poultry seasoning. This also helps keep the turkey moist and it gives great flavor to the bird, and the gravy.  I know the apple spread might sound weird, but it lend a delicious sweetness to the turkey and the gravy comes out amazing.

Once the turkey is all rubbed down, I placed it in the slow cooker and cooked it on high for 6 hours.  When it is done, it will look just like it was cooked in the oven, brown skin and everything.

My slow cooker runs super hot.  If yours doesn’t, feel free to go longer.


Once the turkey is cooked, and it is taking a wee little resty, it’s gravy makin’ time.  Don’t let gravy intimidate you.  It is actually really easy.

First, dump everything remaining in your slow cooker through a strainer.  Throw out all of your foil and veggies.  Skim off all the fat except about 3 tablespoons and dump the remaining fat.  Add your three tablespoons of fat to a large pan and add an equal amount of flour.  That gets whisked and cooked for about a minute.  Then, you whisk in your juices that were left and some chicken stock.  Measure your juices first, and then add enough chicken stock to get you to about 3 ½ cups. 

This will thicken as it cooks….you just have to whisk the whole time.  If you end up with lumps, no biggie.  Just pour your gravy through a sieve and no one will ever know. 


Hello gorgeous.  This turkey is moist and delicious.   The gravy tastes of butter, apple spread, white wine, turkey, etc.  It really is perfect.

And you will have just the right amount of leftovers.

See me next week, same time, same place for more easy Turkey Day recipes.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

2 shallots, peeled and quartered

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 cup carrots, peeled and quartered (baby carrots work too)

3 stalks celery, large dice

4 to 5 large balls of foil

4-5 pound turkey breast, defrosted and patted dry with paper towels

1 cup white wine

2 cups chicken stock

1 stick butter (1/2 cup), softened

1 cup Gourmet Rooster Whiskey Apple Spread (any apple butter will work)

¼ cup mustard

3 tablespoons poultry seasoning

2 teaspoons salt

For Gravy:

3 tablespoons flour

Chicken stock (about 2 cups)

Salt and pepper to taste

Place carrots, celery, shallots and garlic in the bottom of your slow cooker.  Add foil balls to form a “rack”. (see picture)

Blend softened butter, apple spread, mustard and seasonings in a small bowl.  Rub butter mixture all over turkey breast, including under the skin and in the cavities.

Place turkey breast on foil balls.  Add wine and chicken stock.  Cook on high for 6 hours.

Let turkey rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing.


After turkey (and foil balls) are removed from slow cooker, pour remaining veggies and liquid through a sieve.  Discard veggies.  Skim fat off of liquid, saving 3 tablespoons (of fat).  Discard remaining fat and keep juices.

Add 3 tablespoons of fat to a large pan.  Whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour.  Cook for one minute over medium heat.  Slowly whisk in remaining juices and enough chicken stock to equal 3 ½ cups.  Stir gravy as it cooks over medium heat.  Gravy will thicken as it cooks.  Season to taste.

Serves 8-10

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